A week after he allegedly shot dead four people on board the Jaipur Mumbai Superfast Express on 31 July, Railway Protection Force (RPF) Constable Chetan Singh was charged under four additional sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including those for promoting enmity on grounds of religion.
Confirming that the incident is a “hate crime,” a senior officer of the Government Railway Police (GRP) on Tuesday, 8 August told The Quint that it has invoked additional IPC sections including 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence).
The section was added based on at least 15 videos shot by passengers, the GRP submitted before a local court on Monday, Hindustan Times reported.
A purported video from the train, allegedly shot minutes after the incident, had surfaced online in which Singh can be seen saying, “If you want to live in India, vote only for Modi, Yogi.”
Accused Was Not Facing Any Mental Illness: Railway Police
The GRP submitted at the Borivali Magistrate Court, Mumbai that Chetan Singh “was not facing any kind of mental illness nor was he under any treatment for the same,” the senior officer said.
Meanwhile, the accused’s lawyers argued that he had suffered an anxiety attack and did it in a fit of rage, The Indian Express has reported. Singh’s lawyers reportedly claimed that his mental condition was not stable for over a year now and that he was undergoing treatment.
“Chetan had anger issues and had lost his cool earlier too over petty discussions. But never had he done anything of such a level. No one thought he could kill someone,” one of his colleagues told The Quint on the condition of anonymity.
The court extended the RPF official's police custody till 11 August.
'Incident Was a Terrorist Attack': Kin Of Victims
The Quint had, last week, spoken to family members of two of the victims of the train shooting -- Syed Saifuddin from Hyderabad, Telangana and Mohammed Asghar from Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Saifuddin's uncle Mohammed Wajid Pasha had termed the incident a "terrorist attack" and alleged that the accused had asked the victim's name before shooting him dead.
“It is a terrorist attack indeed. His seth (merchant), who was travelling with him in the train, has stated that the accused asked my nephew's name before he shot him dead,” Pasha alleged.
Meanwhile, when asked about the purported video shot minutes after the incident, Mohammed Jigrullah -- Asghar's younger brother -- told The Quint on 3 August that he had seen it and “was scared” after watching it.
“The accused picked out his victims and shot them. Not only that, he also waited to say the things that he did after killing them. He should be termed a terrorist and punished severely for his actions,” said the victim’s brother.
What Had Happened That Day?
The incident took place near Mira Road railway station in Maharashtra's Thane. The 33-year-old RPF official allegedly fired 12 rounds from his automatic service weapon, killing his colleague ASI Tikaram Meena and three passengers – identified as Abdul Kadir, Mohammed Asghar and Syed Saiffudin – in the Mumbai-bound train early on the morning of 31 July.
In the 51-second video, allegedly shot minutes after the incident, the accused RPF official can be seen saying, “The media is operated from Pakistan, and they are the ones showing us the news... If you want to live in India, vote only for Modi, Yogi.”
The accused was arrested on 31 July and a First Information Report (FIR) was filed under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), three sections of the Arms Act and three sections of the Railway Police Act at the Borivali Police Station.
The additional sections of the IPC invoked against the accused RPF official also include 363 (kidnapping), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 342 (wrongful confinement), the senior GRP officer said.